Thursday, March 28, 2019

Cream & Amber - Hopkins, MN

Cream & Amber, Hopkins, MN
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Usually when I do a write-up about a bookstore visit, I'll include a brief history of the business and how things have been going over the years.  Unfortunately, I can't do that for Cream & Amber in Hopkins.  The best I can do is tell you a bit about their ONE WEEK history and then a crystal ball projection of their bright future.  I've excitedly been following this store's evolution for several months before its opening and the fun thing has been seeing all the before pictures (sonograms?) and then coming to the store and seeing the incredible transformation that has taken place.  It took a LOT of work to pull this off and as Katie, one of the co-owners told me, they were going for small and cozy.  That is indeed the perfect description of this space along with down right beautiful.  This store gives off a wonderful vibe.

So, for one week things are going very well and ALREADY there are regular customers.  They offer new and used books with both mixed in together on the shelves.  They'll only take used books from customers on designated days so I encourage book-lovers in Hopkins to watch for these announcements.  You can enjoy coffee, beer, wine, and maybe a light lunch from the cafe.  Katie told me they're considering a "beer for wine-drinkers" event, a great idea to bring people into the store.  There are two medium-sized rooms in the back to allow for cafe overflow and meeting space for groups.  One of my favorite things here is that even though this is a small space, it feels perfectly comfortable to linger and browse without that feeling of being shadowed by a staffer.  There are many places and rooms to sit in and sample a book without feeling rushed or being in the way of others.

I didn't sample anything from the cafe but there can be no better recommendation than when a local customer met me before entering and said the coffee was outstanding.  I'd say this bodes well.  Nicely done Cream & Amber.

Co-owners Kacey and Katie are off to a great start and are rightly very enthusiastic about Cream & Amber.  Congratulations to them and Hopkins for this wonderful new business.  Now, Hopkinsites (Hopkinsonians?  Hopkinsters?), it's up to you.  This place is awesome and you finally have a bookstore AND a wonderful cafe in a beautiful space.  Check it out and have a great experience.  This is only the beginning of great things for Cream & Amber.  Go to an indie and buy a book.  Bonsoir.

JUST FINISHED:  Natchez Burning, Greg Iles.  This is the first book in a trilogy about a community's battle during the 1960s civil rights era that resonates into present day.  A clearly defined story between good and evil and the complicated issue between the races.  A violent portrayal of violent times.  A work of fiction that certainly contains threads of real events. This is a big book and I thoroughly enjoyed it. Highly recommended.

CURRENTLY READING:  The Bone Tree, Greg Iles.

RECENTLY PURCHASED:  Women Who Dig: Farming, Feminism, and The Fight To Feed The World, Trina Moyles.

A good sign indeed.  

Another exterior view.  

A great sentiment shared by many indies and their patrons.  

An attractive display window.  

View looking into the store from the main entrance.  Habitual readers may recognize the celebrity on the right.  Yes, that's my mom.  

Looking to the right from the main entrance.  

Straight ahead is a portion of the cafe.  Your coffee and beer await.  

Current offerings in the cafe.  

A happy customer enjoying a seat in the sun.  

Neatly organized front table display.  

All of the shelving and books displayed look super.  

Another view of the cafe area.  

You'll need this tote for the books you'll be buying.  

Walk straight past the cafe counter and enter this room.  Great for trying a book or a latte.  

Go to the right from the room pictured above and you'll be in this room.  Great for groups.  

Another view of the room above.  

Reserve the community room for your group.  

Overview of the bookstore from the back looking toward the front entrance.  

With Katie on the left and Kacey in the center, the fine co-owners at Cream & Amber.  Thanks for a great visit.  

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